} Snowmobiling and the fallacies surrounding “quality time”

We headed out yesterday, Paul and I and the two youngest, before noon on a bright and crisp day. Snowmobiling for me is a rather difficult sport, physically, and I try not to do it too often as it leaves me fairly incapacitated for several days afterwards. At the insistence of Paul, I suited up and headed out. He was looking for a “family” adventure on our sleds, something we hadn’t done yet this year. He’s taken the kids out quite a bit, but I usually stay behind. Since I hadn’t been out  this year, I sort of felt guilty for bailing on “quality time”.

The plan was to snowmobile out to a quiet spot in the woods, meet up with some friends, have a bonfire, roast some weenie dogs and marshmallows and then sled home.

(Our local snowmobile “gang”!)

All went well, even if it was painful, until the ride home. Drew, who hadn’t kept track of the fuel levels in his sled as he was out hot-dogging, ran out of gas on the way home, in the middle of the lake. Paul hooked up the tow strap, which worked fine until he rolled the two sleds heading up a hill.

That meant we were walking, through the woods, in the dark for almost two hours, until we finally saw the lights of the house.

Quality family  fun time!
Ever see the Hasbro “games night” commercials promoting one night a week when you sit down with your kids and play board games? It annoys the shit out of me. It annoys the shit out of me for two reasons.

One, every time it comes on, one of the kids pipe up, “We should have a games night”.
Two, there should be more to quality time then one night a week of board games.
There is a high level of quality time spent with our kids. We believe that quality time is something other than scheduling time to interact with our children. Quality time is having one child or three perched up on the kitchen counter while we’re cooking dinner. Quality time is that child or two who is pulling up a chair beside the sewing machine to read a book while I’m stitching a new stuffie. Quality time is not reading the day planner to see if we can sit down some night after supper to get to know each other over a heated game of Monopoly. It’s letting a kid hop in the car when you’re heading in to town for gas. It’s letting a kid curl up in the crook of your arm while you watch yet another episode of iCarly even though you can literally feel your brain melting with every scene. Quality time is dropping everything because you’re hearing four stories at once and you’ll need to sit undistracted for at least ten minutes so your brain doesn’t turn in to scrambled eggs.

I hate that in the grand scheme of commercialism, Mr. Moneybags is able to imply that I don’t spend enough quality time with my children. I submit that the creators of such marketing stop working so hard and head home to spend some time to get to know their kids.

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8 Comments

  1. willowbatel said,

    February 23, 2010 at 2:04 am

    I hate riding on snowmobiles. Yes, they’re a lot better in the snow that a four-wheeler, but I can’t turn them for nothing. I avoid using them at all costs lol.
    I love that bit about quality time. It’s… it’s… it’s so motherly you know? I mean it’s sweet. It makes me whish I spent more time with my mom, who comes home from 7 hours of work in an office, and makes dinner for my sister and I while we sit in our rooms or watch TV. I will go and sit with her more often then not, but I still feel like a bad kid for not doing it all the time lol.

    • February 23, 2010 at 8:20 am

      I’d like to say I hate riding snowmobiles too, but I like the speed and the dexterity it takes to get through the trees. It does a serious number on my hips/hands and back so I try not to do it very often.
      I think so long as the time you do spend with your mother means something to you or her, it’s quality. That’s basically what I’m getting at. You don’t both have to be involved in an “event”, just hanging out, doing nothing but existing together has the biggest impact. And don’t get me wrong, there are times when I wish they’d all just get the hell away from me tooooooo….lol

      • willowbatel said,

        February 23, 2010 at 5:59 pm

        Yea that’s kind of how I think of it too.
        “There are times when I wish they’d all just get the hell away from me tooooooo.” Hahaha, you’re telling this to a teenager.

        • February 23, 2010 at 6:34 pm

          Hehehe….I just didn’t want to give you the idea that it’s all unicorns and butterflies in this house!

  2. February 24, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Endless amounts of Friends re-runs. Endless amounts. Speaking of quality time and Friends re-runs…. Can we pppppllllleeeeaaassseee poke Sara’s eyes out?

  3. jollof said,

    February 25, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    I sometimes miss the snow in England and then I think about the hot sun I’m enjoying here in Nigeria…I like it hot! But I would’ve loved a bit of snowmobiling 😦 I get that ‘scrambled eggs’ feeling sometimes when I’m trying to watch my favourite TV program and listen to a pest on my mobile phone…pretty darn annoying. I’m sure you spend quality time with your kids – good on you!

  4. Allyson said,

    March 3, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    I’ve only ridden on a snowmobile once or twice, but I enjoyed it very much. I’ll have to do it again next time I’m in a place where it snows. I live in Florida, so that’s not likely to happen here. 🙂

    As for what you said about quality time, I completely agree with you.

    • March 4, 2010 at 10:17 am

      Thanks for stopping by! I know a few crazy fellows up here who try to snowmobile in sand dunes, and across open water, perhaps it’s something you can look forward to in Sunny Florida! Just kidding, I wouldn’t suggest it to anyone!


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